Anyone who has had children can relate to what Cristina’s parents are going through in Cristina in the Cupboard – their confusion as to why their daughter has retreated, as they try to get her to come out and face the world and interact with them.
Cristina is in her early 20’s, she’s gone out and lived in the world and she’s come back home and locked herself in a cupboard, in her bedroom, at her parent’s house.
“The cupboard is a metaphor, Cristina isn’t physically in a cupboard, it’s magic realism, a bit out here, a bit surreal. Is the cupboard real or is it her imagination? There’s moments that are comic, [and] some really crazy hyperbolic over the top loud characters that are really funny,” explained Emily McGowan, who plays Cristina.
“She experiences and relives memories from her childhood and events that will happen in the future, all the while processing and rethinking.”
Something that playwright Paul Gilchrist was quite clear about was that Cristina isn’t mentally ill. It’s not something that people do so often in the modern world anymore but it’s definitely something that has been done throughout history, where people retreat for a number of days on end to find themselves or figure something out.
“It’s a play with a lot of weight but it’s also light-hearted and very funny. You go on a massive journey with Cristina and her family,” concluded McGowan. (MS)
BY MEL SOMERVILLE